Children of the Mists by Lexa Dudley

Updated on Jul 21, 2016 by Kathryn Burrington

Blog > Children of the Mists by Lexa Dudley

Having enjoyed Lexa Dudley’s first novel set in Sardinia so very much my expectations for her second were high. She didn’t disappoint.

Step back in time to the 1800s, when for many years the untamed island of Sardinia has been seen as an annex of Italy from which much is taken but nothing given. Life here has changed little for many centuries, especially in the rugged interior where sheep farming is prevalent and ancient superstitions and traditions are firmly upheld.

It is here in this setting, so vividly brought to life by author Lexa Dudley, that the lives of two families, the Sannas and the Canus become deeply intertwined.

“She ambled down the long path to the lower meadow, taking in the gold-green of the valley and sweet, heady scent of the drying wild flowers, intensified by the sun…”

Children of the Mists, Lexa’s second novel, is an intricate tale of steadfast love, ambition, loyalty and betrayal not forgetting vendetta, the strict Sardinian code of honour that demands revenge; the souls of the murdered will not rest until their deaths have been avenged. Most strikingly, however, this a love story or rather a number of beguiling interwoven love stories.

Throughout the novel the reader is treated to a wonderful glimpse of the world of the Sardinian people in days gone by. Their deeply held beliefs and ancient knowledge form a colourful and essential framework as the tale unfolds and the leading characters take shape.

“..from Gabriella they learned the secrets of the plants’ healing powers, and from Salvatore they learnt the ways of hunting, trapping and fishing.

Sergio saw to it that they knew about the bad spirits, and how to ward them off with the many superstitions which ruled life. The broom outside the back door to keep away evil spirits who would stop to count the bristles, but as they could only count to seven, it would occupy them all night until dawn, when they would run away.”

While it took a little longer to really grab my attention than Lexa’s first novel, The Whispering Wind also set in Sardinia, it really was not long at all before I was thoroughly hooked and eager to know more about the lives of the many characters Lexa so vividly portrays, each of whom I came to care about, even Orlando, but on that I’ll say no more least I give away too much. Suffice to say that throughout the book I was never quite certain where the plot would take me, whose hearts would be broken, which lives would be taken and whose hopes and fears would come true.

I’d thoroughly recommend Children of the Mists by Lexa Dudley to anyone who enjoys historic or romantic novels as well as for anyone who, like me, has a deep love for Sardinia.

Posted in Kathryn BurringtonNews & Press | Tagged BooksCultureHistoryReview

Published By: Matador
Date Published: June 28, 2016
Pages: 352

Sometimes love breeds vengeance, vengeance breeds tragedy, and tragedy, in turn, breeds love again. Set in Sardinia between the years 1855 and 1860 and divided into two parts, everything comes full circle in Children of the Mists by Lexa Dudley. More than anything else, Dudley shows us exactly what transpires before one generation of Sards makes way for the next, and how it is that, no matter how terra incognita we might figure some culture to be, it is just as powerful, wonderful, and pulsating as every other.

Raffaella Canu had been sent to Itteri for a decent education. Gestinu, her father, had high hopes for her future. Whatever they were, Raffaella only wished for one thing: to be with Antonio, the shepherd boy she had loved since childhood. Orlando, her brother, however, doesn’t want Antonio in his sister’s future. To Orlando, his sister is still just as soft-witted as she was before she went to Itteri. She could have a wonderful life if she would just see reason and agree to marry Luigi, a prominent doctor who also happens to be his best friend. It might take more than a promise for Raffaella to finally be with the man of her dreams.

Change is a thing that dwells just between the realms of good and bad, unbiased and final. For some, change can mean a new, more wonderful life. For others, it can only mean more misery. For the Sardinians in this novel, change means abiding to laws that are not their own, but the laws of some king who is out to unite every single Italian state so that everyone “can prosper as one country”. The Sards have land, but there are those who would take it away from them within the blink of an eye. One misstep and a language known as legalese renders them fugitives, after which they are hunted by the Carabineri or doomed to the nullified life of a bandit.

The first part, starting at 1855, introduces us to the lifestyle and customs of the Sards. We are introduced to the Sannas and the Canus, and can easily see how the lives of these two families are connected. “Vitoria and Orlando were promised to each other in marriage; in a contract made between Gestinu and Salvatore, as Salvatore had saved his friend’s life when he first came to live in the mountains.” In the second part, three years after cholera made its way into their lives, the stage is set for a beautiful tale of love, vengeance, and redemption.

It doesn’t take much to imagine Sardinia and all of its beauty. “Although she couldn’t see the river, Raffaella could hear it in the valley below as it grumbled and chattered its way over a bed of shiny, cold, grey stones; as it bubbled in the ravine with the fullness of extra water from the melted snows of the distant, haze-green mountains.” We are taken to ravines, caves, small churches, and bedrooms in which the very light of dawn that enters it is graced by the author. Refined human life is faraway, neither important to the reader nor more desirable than Dudley’s craftily recreated setting.

There is more than one love story, the one towering over every other in the book of course being that of Raffaella and Antonio. They have loved each other since childhood, and a doctor with “clammy” hands can be seen as the hand that aims to snatch cupid’s arrow out of the air just before it strikes its target. Another love story is that of Marina, who is Antonio’s little sister, and a bandit named Gavinu. Dudley also throws in an unexpected romance that I found to be quite a surprise. Because of the alternating third person narrative, we get to follow each of them without much of a fuss.

Raffaella might be the main protagonist, but it is the characters around her, what with her just wanting to be with Antonio and all, that keeps things interesting. Even Sergio, an old shepherd, can make one burst out laughing when he works on the nerves of Orlando with his superstitious babbling. Small characters get to play pivotal roles to move the story along to its dreaded, and I mean this in a positive way, conclusion. Gabriella, Antonio’s mother, is the character through which we can get a lot of information about the Sard culture. She is important to the community, a healer who gets called upon many Sards when they fall ill.

Orlando is the personification of ambition, making decisions based purely on logic rather than love. While not the main antagonist, he is perhaps the main reason for all the conflict and heartache in this novel. He is not an evil human being, but for some reason, his destiny doesn’t seem to be one that is filled with happiness. “’You’re cursed, you’re cursed,’ repeated the shepherd, whimpering.” His decisions tend not to end up well. When one looks at his development in the book, it’s easy to see how the author took great care with him.

The theme of change and the different outcomes it has for different people was well explored. Raffaella was proud of her homeland and to her change didn’t involve a life away from her home and married to a doctor. Orlando was exactly the opposite. Change was his way of forgetting the past. Other themes like vengeance and redemption also played a big part. The Sards seems to have a particular notion when it comes to revenge. “As a fellow Sard, you must know the importance of revenge.”

I got a lot from this book. I got laughs and I got tears. I got to experience Sardinia from 1855 to 1860 and all its greatness. I could see greenery, mountains, and people in love. I felt that I was reading a wonderful romance novel set in a magical place.

I reviewed this book for Readers’ Favorite and extended the review for my blog.

My Rating: 5 out of 5.

Buy on Amazon

Reviewed By Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite

Lexa Dudley writes a striking historic rendition of life on the island of Sardinia. Children of the Mists is a story of enduring love. Set in the 1800s, life on Sardinia had barely changed since the time of the Caesars. Two families, the Sannas and the Canus, are united by friendship and adversity. Love and laughter, joy and promises, omens and superstitions, youth and experience transcend generations. However, for Raefella and Antonio, their passionate love becomes entangled with revenge. Death changes devotion. Promises are forgotten. Vendettas cannot be ignored. Ambition clouds judgments. Antonio and Raefella were promised to each other, nothing would keep them apart, not even family. Committed to each other, they fight for their love against all odds.
Children of the Mists by Lexa Dudley captures your heart and takes you back in time. A time lost in tradition and love. A time long past, but not easily forgotten. Dudley is an endearing storyteller. Her writing technique is full of illustrious scenes, depicting the beautiful sights, aromatic scents and the echoing sounds of Sardinia. Every word portrays her devotion to the ancient culture of the untamed island. The Sardinian traditions and language are skillfully woven throughout the narrative’s plot. The characters are strong, wild, and at times, illicitly ambitious. Yet, also tender, traditional and passionate, conveying a well-rounded cast. The plot develops graciously, steadily reaching the climax. Then it tumbles down with a few unexpected turns of events, causing the reader to be engulfed in this story of unbridled love and retribution.

by Cheryl E Rodriguez

Reviewed By Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite

Children of the Mists by Lexa Dudley is a story of honor, love, revenge and honesty of emotions. When Salvatore Sanna saved the life of his neighbor Gestinu Canu, Canu promised Sanna that he would marry off his son Orlando to Sanna’s daughter Victoria. The two neighbors are living in harmony and happiness, with a cordial friendship, and Orlando and Victoria truly love one another.
However, Victoria’s brother Antonello loves Orlando’s sister Rafaella. The two lovers want to be together, but the Canu family has big plans for Rafaella and they will not let her settle for someone who is not meant for her and her worth. What are these two lovers going to do? Will Orlando and Victoria’s love survive this conflict? Will Rafaella and Antonello be able to enjoy a life together filled with love? Will Canu and Sanna’s friendship survive after this drawback? Will honor allow love to prevail or make it perish?
Lexa Dudley has done a brilliant job with Children of the Mists. The story was the perfect combination of love, revenge, and, of course, honor. The historically correct aspects of the story will take you back in time and allow you to appreciate the characters so much more. You will be transported back to 1855 and you will fall in love with Sardinia, the amazing country of the Canu and Sanna family. It was indeed a great story, one I would like to read again. The novel was great and I enjoyed it immensely. The story had just the right amount of thrills and love to make it perfect. This novel is not to be missed.

by Rabia Tanveer

Review Rating:5 stars! Download your free 5 Star Seal.

Reviewed By Katelyn Hensel for Readers’ Favorite

Two families, bound by a debt of gratitude, work peacefully as neighbors. The Sanna and Canu families have lived and thrived alongside one another through the years. Salvatore Sanna and Gestinu Canu even paired their children to be married, so all would appear to be perfect in paradise. Only, the eldest Sanna son is in love with Rafaella Canu and must go against her father and older brother’s wishes if he wants to be with his love. In a series of moves reminiscent of a medieval political drama, the two families are shaken apart by vendettas and petty grudges and then pieced back together again by the bond of love.
In Children of the Mists, Lexa Dudley paints a beautiful picture of love, family, and the struggle to do what is right. As exotic landscapes and settings go, you really don’t often get to see off the beaten path places like Sardinia. I’m glad that Lexa Dudley resurrected it from the annals of time, because the countryside of the late 1800s can be a beautiful and romantic place – as Dudley’s expert writing describes for us. I admit I got swept away with the romance of the settings and two pairings. The names alone were deliciously foreign and cast a hearty glow over the story, really transplanting me into the heart of the novel and holding me there so that I wanted to keep reading long after my eyelids were drooping closed at night. Children of the Mists is a must-read for those who love family dramas, historical fiction, or simply romance.

by Katelyn Hensel

Reviewed By Mamta Madhavan

Children of the Mists by Lexa Dudley is a love story set in Sardinia in 1855. While Salvatore Sanna worked hard all his life to gain his land, his neighbor Gestinu Canu got it pretty easy through marriage. Both of them are going to be related soon as Victoria, Salvatore’s daughter, is getting married to Orlando Canu. It is a match fixed as a bond of honor to return Salvatore’s gesture of saving Gestinu’s life earlier. They also love each other. Salvatore’s son, Antonello Sanna, loves Rafaella, Gestinu Canu’s daughter. Rafaella’s father and brother have other plans for her. It’s an engrossing story of love, revenge, desire and honor.
The story is engaging with its romance, revenge, twists and turns that keep readers guessing about what is going to follow. The characters are well portrayed and the book also gives a peek into the Sard society that existed in 1855, and the wildness of the place before the unification of the Italian States took place. The narration is descriptive and detailed, and captures the beauty of the land, making the scenes and story very visual. There is a raw passion and sensuality in the romantic scenes which make it very tangible to readers. Readers will soak up the beauty of Sardinia as the story captures the essence of the place. The author’s love for Sardinia is evident as the story progresses. On the whole, it is a love story that will win the hearts of readers with its many dimensions. An entertaining love story that will captivate the readers with its romance, passion, revenge and honor.

by Mamta Madhavan

Reviewed By Valerie Rouse

Children of the Mists, set in the 1800s in Sardinia, is a delightful story about the enduring love that Raffaella Sanna and Antonio have for each other. They live in the countryside with their immediate families. As childhood sweethearts, they matured into adults still caring for each other the same way. Unfortunately, Raffaella’s greedy brother Orlando wants her to get married to Luigi, a doctor from Sassari. Orlando believed that he would obtain a huge fortune if Raffaella became Luigi’s wife. He felt that he would have access to Raffaella’s land and sell the trees on the land and become rich. This plan was interrupted as Luigi’s jealousy intervened and he tried to dispose of Antonio. Antonio survived the ordeal. Will Antonio and Raffaella’s love survive?
Children of the Mists is an intriguing tale with a historical slant. Author Lexa Dudley did an excellent job in presenting her enchanting plot. The language used is colloquial and is quite easy to understand. I love the way in which the author intertwined the elements of ethnicity, clan rivalry and romance in her story. The author also thoroughly explored the pervasive theme of good versus evil in a dramatic yet effective manner. I enjoyed the camaraderie between the family members. This denotes a sense of loyalty which is lacking in our society today. It is akin to a breath of fresh air in a balmy summer. Nowadays, many societies have embraced a selfish mentality and the author’s emphasis on close knit communities is quite refreshing. The pace of the story is a bit slow at first, however, it picks up as the plot unfolds. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Children of the Mists. I recommend it to all lovers of historical romance, and romance in general.

by Valerie Rouse

Related Articles


‘The Whispering Wind’ by Lexa Dudley, the perfect holiday read Read more

Falling in love with Sardinia, an interview with author Lexa Dudley Read more

A journey into the mysterious world of Sardinia

I am happy to say that the Italian translation of The Whispering Wind is now on Amazon.

Interview with Lexa Dudley

Tell us about yourself, your childhood, your family. What do you do for a living?
Lexa DudleyI am an only child. I went to boarding school at the age of six and a half, then on to school in Switzerland when I was seventeen. My mother then married an american in the US army and we went to live in North Carolina and then Texas. We returned to the UK when I was nineteen. I married at twenty one and have four sons and eight grandchildren. I have always worked with my husband with his business and have written, when I found time.

Tell us about your Book, characters. What is it about? What’s your inspiration?
The two main characters are Elise, a married woman escaping from a failed marriage, who goes on holiday to Sardinia where she meets a local man called Beppe. It is about their relationship. Being a Roman Catholic country and set in 1969, it would be difficult for their relationship to be accepted by the community, let alone his family.

The inspiration for the book came from the first holiday we took in Sardinia in 1972, where we met lots of the local people and learnt about their codes of living. It fascinated me how closed their lives were then. the women being confined to the house and the men being the breadwinners.

Why did you decide to write this book? How can it help others?
I wanted to set these problems in the background of Sardinia. I love the island and its people and I wanted to pass some of that love on to other people. If there is one thing I have learnt it is that you write about what you know and love, which makes a difficult job of writing a little easier.

How do you promote your books outside Amazon? Any marketing lessons for our readers?
I use Twitter, Facebook and I have been fortunate enough to have a few interviews, which help very enormously. I also have an active website.

Do you have a print version? How do you promote it? Talk about giveaways you have done, network you have built etc.
Yes I have a print version which is with Amazon, but all the interview etc all state that it is in print as well as an ebook. I also entered it into competitions in the US AND WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BECOME A FINALIST IN THE NEXT GENERATION INDIE AWARDS 2014 FOR ROMANCE AND IN THE NATIONAL EXCELLENT INDIE AWARDS 2914 FOR ROMANCE AND LITERARY FICTION.

How do you plan your book launch? Do you have tips for other authors to do a mega book launch?
Matador, my publisher arranged the initial launch and it is on Goodreads as well.

Do you use KDP select? How has KDP Select helped you? Give us some statistics on downloads and sales (if you don’t mind).
I did use it for a while, but didn’t find it very helpful.

How do you handle criticism or negative reviews? Any tips on how to avoid them (if any).
Not everyone can like your book, so you learn to take the rough with the smooth and also if it is harsh criticism look at what was said and try not to make the same mistake again.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
Persevere keep writing and believe in yourself. I was 73 when I published my first novel, The Whispering Wind. I had it accepted by a publisher, but they wanted to change the ending, but I was adamant that it should stay as it is. So I published it myself, and as I said I have won prizes with it. So stick at it it is well worth it in the end.

What mistakes would you like to avoid in your next book? What have you learned from your mistakes/failures?
I have learnt that at the back of your book you put all your information, your email your website so that if people want to contact you they can. Make sure you have a really good editor and remember that even the best publishing houses don’t always find all the errors in the MS.

Name 3 of your all-time favorite books.

  1. Out of Africa by Karen Blixon
  2. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne duMaurier
  3. Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte

If you were given a chance to motivate someone with your words, you would say…..
Never give up, follow your dream and be true to yourself and lastly enjoy what you do.

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Review #162: The Whispering Wind: Two Lives, One Heartbreaking Story by Lexa Dudley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.” 

—-Anaïs Nin, a French-born novelist, passionate eroticist and short story writer

Lexa Dudley, an English author, penned her debut book, The Whispering Wind: Two Lives, One Heartbreaking Story , that revolves around a small Italian island, Sardinia.


The Whispering Wind is a moving story of two lovers, set on the beautiful island of Sardinia, where Elise goes on holiday to escape a loveless and violent marriage. Whilst there, she meets and falls in love with Beppe, a local Sard. Despite religious and cultural complications, they embark on a romantic and passionate affair. Beppe shows Elise his island and introduces her to the welcoming culture of the Sardinians and Elise soon falls under the spell of both the island and its people. But after weeks of blissful happiness, Elise has to return unexpectedly to England to face all the problems she had been so desperate to leave behind.

The Whispering Wind is that kind of book which will bring out the deepest pain from our soul and will manage to transform that pain into something beautiful and memorable. Since that is how I felt when I read the book.

Elise, a young and married English woman, take a trip all by herself to an Italian island, Sardinia. To get away from her abusive husband, William, Elise decides to take a break from her marital issues before going for a divorce. But her stay at Sardinia turns out to be something enchanting and fateful for her. Not only Elise was struck by the beauty of this small and lonely island, but also fell in love with the warmth of the local people of Sardinia called, Sards. Little did she knew that her trip to Sardinia would turn out to be lucky for her, as she fell head-over-heels-in-love with a local Sard, Beppe. Their love was not something filled with lust and passion, but their love was something pure and deep with intensity. But Sard people are quite traditional and since it was 1969, modern values like getting married to a divorced woman was still not acceptable in the society. Their love story comes to a halt when Elise had to return back to England due to her mother’s illness, but will she come back? Will they find each other in their arms?

The author have spun a heart-touching and deeply moving love-story. The author’s portrayal of this island, Sardinia makes me feel like she loves this island like her own home. With her eloquent words, I too can feel the warmth of the Sards like Maria, and the rest. The picture of Sardinia that she painted with her words is vivid, lively and very visual. I was not only transported to the picturesque island, but I could sniff the salty breeze and the sweetness of the wine on my tongue. I could even hear the birds singing and the waves crashing by the shore. And as Beppe and Elise’s love story evolved, Sardinia bloomed like a flower.

The author did a great job on crafting the characters with depth and compassion. And their warm demeanor will make you feel like as if you are home. Elise, the main character, is strong willed woman, who fought a lot in her life, yet she stood still. Their narrative is striking and captivating. The prose is articulate and evocative with a rather fast pace. And the plot unraveled like something you need to devour for a longer time, rather than reading it in a haste, since the plot is constantly evolving and the beauty of Sardinia along with Elise’s pain and sorrow keeps us engaged to the core of the story. The chemistry between Beppe and Elise is not lusty yet it’s very enriching. The emotions are strongly depicted with intricacy. The first part of the book is enchanting yet poignant, and in the second part, there is a mystery to unlock, although, we know the real culprit who caused the pain between Elise and Beppe, but the way the author unraveled it, made us gripped to the story. And surely, the second half brought a lot of tears to my eyes. I started hating the author for turning her story into something irrevocably painful.
All in all, Sardinia’s beauty will bewitch you and the book will make you itch to take a trip to this elegant island, Sardinia.

Verdict: This book proves why pain demands to be felt and if you want to experience a unique combination of beauty and pain, then do read this compelling love story.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author, Lexa Dudley, for giving me an opportunity to read and review her book. 

Author Info:
Wife, mother, grand mother and writer. A lover of good food and wonderful company, dear friends and a Passionate lover of the island of Sardinia and its people.
This year ‘The Whispering Wind’ was fortunate to win Gold finalist medal for ROMANCE in The Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2014 and finalist for ROMANCE and LITERARY FICTION at The National Excellence Indie Book Awards 2014. 

Visit her here

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The Whispering Wind by Lexa Dudley is a breathtakingly warm romance set in Sardinia. Elise visits the beautiful island, Sardinia, on a holiday away from her abusive husband, William. The hospitality of the locals and the beauty of the island captivate her and she ends up falling in love with Beppe, a man after her own heart. After years of sadness, she feels her life now has some meaning and revels in the romance of her new-found love. Unfortunately, she has to rush back to her mother’s side and then the heartbreaking part of the story begins. Though in her heart she is determined to go back to her love as promised, life and fate have other plans for her. Will she ever be reunited with the one man to whom her soul belongs? Will that man live up to his promise of doing everything possible for her? Will Beppe’s love stand the test of time?

The Whispering Wind is definitely a book one can enjoy on holiday. The author has woven the story fantastically while explaining the culture and lifestyle of Sardinia. The place really comes alive with the wonderful descriptions of the various places and festivals. The love story of Elise and Beppe stays with you for a long time. The story is romantic, beautiful, and touches a chord deep in one’s heart. One almost wishes that the star-crossed lovers had ended up with a different twist to their story, but on second thoughts, it would not have the same poignancy and feel to it if it was any different. A highly recommended read for those of us who still get misty-eyed over true love and soul mates.

by Dr. Oliva Dsouza

‘The Whispering Wind’ by Lexa Dudley, the perfect holiday read

March 19, 2014 by Kathryn Burrington

There’s nothing I’d rather read when I’m on holiday than a novel set in the place I am visiting. Lexa Dudley’s ‘The Whispering Wind‘ is a heart-wrenching romance set on Sardinia and while I didn’t get to read it when I was there, it never-the-less brought back some wonderful memories of this lovely island that I, just like the author, have fallen in love with.

I love reading books (whether fact or fiction) that teach me about different cultures but I’m not a great one for reading romance novels, so I really wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy ‘The Whispering Wind’. Right from the start, however, the story-line had me hooked, as each of the main characters were brought to life.

Our heroine, Elise, escaping a loveless marriage visits the island alone, staying in a villa near the village of Pula on the south coast. Here she meets the stereotypically tall, dark and handsome, Beppe. Despite it breaking every rule that he has been brought up to believe in by his fervently religious mother and indeed the whole community, Beppe falls hopelessly in love with the married Elise.

Throughout the book Lexa paints a vivid picture of the warm and welcoming Sardinian people, as well as the beauty of the island which Beppe delights in showing Elise – you can almost smell the sea air and taste the roasted suckling pig! More than that, this novel gives a wonderful insight into the culture, traditions, history and sense of community that anyone with an interest in Sardinia will find fascinating.

It’s an easy read but it will take you on a roller-coaster of an emotional ride.

Without giving anything away, I hope, let’s just say that the ending wasn’t quite what I was expecting and I can’t remember when a novel last moved me so much; I was actually sobbing out loud as I reached the final chapters. I think it would make a great film and you couldn’t find a more stunning location than Sardinia!

Whether or not you’ve ever visited the island, this is a wonderful story and I would highly recommend ‘The Whispering Wind‘ as the perfect holiday read for anyone who has a romantic soul.

Book Review from Hannah Fielding

15 February 2014

From the blurb:

The Whispering Wind is a moving story of two lovers, set on the beautiful island of Sardinia, where Elise goes on holiday to escape a loveless and violent marriage.

Whilst there, she meets and falls in love with Beppe, a local Sard. Despite religious and cultural complications, they embark on a romantic and passionate affair.

Beppe shows Elise his island and introduces her to the welcoming culture of the Sardinians and Elise soon falls under the spell of both the island and its people.

But after weeks of blissful happiness, Elise has to return unexpectedly to England to face all the problems she had been so desperate to leave behind…

When Lexa approached me to enquire whether I may be interested in reviewing her novel, my answer was an easy ‘yes’. Romance set on Sardinia? Right up my street, especially given the fact that my own latest novel, The Echoes of Love, is a romance set in Venice, Tuscany and… Sardinia! I love the setting – Sardinia is quite one of my favourite places for its unspoilt beauty – and so I was very keen to read this novel.

I knew from the first paragraph that the book would not disappoint:

A gentle breeze fluttered through the peach grove, but gave no respite from the midday sun. The rows of peach and olive trees offered no shade, and the branches of the tall cypress trees surrounding the orchard seemed to trap and intensify the relentless rays, creating an overwhelming heat that pervaded everything. Only the strident call of the cicadas broke the unnerving quiet that descended over the dry land.

I adore the author’s writing style; her ability to evocatively convey the setting. There is so much colour and passion and feeling in her writing: she’s a romance writer par excellence.

The story drew me in from the beginning, so much so that I read the book  in just two sittings – I couldn’t put it down. I love the characterisation, especially of the local Sardinian people. I love the depth to the character of Elise and her journey to find herself, and to heal her heart, after her abusive marriage. I love the hero of the book, Beppe, and find him so real as a person that he seems alive beyond the words on the page. I love the development of Beppe and Elise’s relationship, and the attention the author pays to exploring their feelings.

No doubt you’re spotting a theme: I love this book!

I’ve no wish to provide a spoiler of the ending here. Suffice it to say that it surprised me, and moved me, and is, I think, a very mature and intelligent close to the book. I’d have loved more depth at the end; more exploration of Elise’s life when she returns to England, and Beppe’s respectively. But I see why the author has written the book as she has.

In all, this is a book that stayed with me after I read the final words, and is one I think I will re-read in the future. It’s certainly made me pine for beautiful Sardinia!

I very much hope Lexa has more books in the pipeline: I will be first in line to read her next release.

Some of the comments I have received so far.

Format: Paperback
This book would make a wonderful holiday read. The main characters are well drawn and we are introduced to them quickly; the narrative also follows at a good pace and although it is essentially a love story, the descriptions of Sardinia and its customs and people as well as all the sounds and smells, make it extremely compelling reading; I couldn’t put it down! Sardinia is definitely on my ‘bucket list’ as a result!

Format: Kindle Edition
This story took me on a journey through warm and sunny Sardinia (always a plus for us in the UK). The vivid descriptions of the island, people, food and culture transported me to a more gentle and meaningful way of life. I felt as though I knew the characters well and could see them as they moved through their lives. Sardinia has such a rich history of which little is known outside the region. I enjoyed learning about the culture and life of Sardinia as much as I enjoyed the story itself. I recommend that you curl up with this book and a glass of your favourite wine and enjoy!

Format: Paperback
An easy holiday read for the pool this summer: beautifully detailed study of Sardinia, its people, customs, history and above all, Food! I feel inspired to start cooking eels and roasting a suckling pig over a fire! The island is definitely on my list of places to visit as a result.

Format: Kindle Edition
A gripping, beautifully descriptive, romantic and tragic tale. A fabulous insight into the stunning landscape, historical culture and traditional community life of the Sardinians. The book invites you into another world and takes one on a journey of many emotions. I shall be recommending it to my local book group.

Format: Paperback
An ideal romantic holiday read that weaves many interesting facts about the history and culture of Sardinia into the story. Sure to make you want to visit the island.


The Whispering Wind by Lexa Dudley is set in the idyllic island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea, where history and culture abound. Elise originally booked a holiday in Sardinia with her husband but his violent behaviour finally breaks the last straw of their troubled marriage. Prodded by her solicitor, she decides to go ahead with the holiday alone to have some peace. This decision will change her life forever as she is embraced by the Sardinian culture and becomes enamoured with the place and its people. She falls in love with a Sardinian, Beppe, and everything seems to be fantastic. This is until the day she has to face the reality waiting for her in England and in Sardinia itself. Will Elise finally find the happiness that she has always been looking for?

Author Lexa Dudley is a romantic novelist who certainly knows a thing or two about love. Her writing style is not that original but she knows how to build up the plot in such a way that the reader cannot help but be captivated by the story. She has an excellent descriptive style, painting the island on the book’s pages like a visual artist painting on a canvas. As a result, I felt like I was transported to Sardinia and experienced the island myself. The Whispering Wind has all the elements of a successful romantic novel and even more. Reading this book is like going on an emotional roller coaster ride of love, hate, sadness, and joy. The story tugs at the heart, the characters are well developed, the plot is interesting and the setting is perfect. What more can a reader ask for?

by Maria Beltran


The Whispering Wind by Lexa Dudley is set in Sardinia. Elise goes to the island to escape from her marriage and she meets a local guy and falls in love with him. In the meantime, the problems she left behind in England surface and she is forced to go back.

I found the book beautiful. The story is not clichéd like other love stories. The author has managed to bring out the gentle passion and compassion that the lovers share beautifully. Love stories are not always easy to write because it is possible to fall into the usual clichés. Elise trying to escape from an unhappy marriage and going to Sardinia can be understood very easily. Her meeting with local guy Beppe is where the story takes a romantic twist.

The Whispering Wind is not only about romance but it also gives the readers an idea of the Sardinian culture and traditions. We get to take a peek into their closed lives. The story is gentle and soft. It is not one of those aggressive love stories where there is a lot of tumult and raw passion. The face of the story changes when Elise has to go back to England unexpectedly to sort out her marriage from which she was trying to escape.

Now will Elise’s past take her away from Beppe? Will Beppe and Elise finally be together?

by Mamta Madhavan


The Whispering Wind: A stunning portrait of an island as well as a passionate love story…

A finalist in the Indie Book Awards, The Whispering Wind hooked me immediately with it’s beautiful descriptive writing and well developed characters.

whispering windThe Whispering Wind is the story of two lovers, Elise and Beppe, set on the beautiful island of Sardinia. Elise visits the island on holiday in a bid to escape her violent husband. Whilst there, she meets and falls in love with local Sard, Beppe. But can the young couple overcome religious and cultural issues to be together?

It is at once a passionate and beautifully crafted love story and at the same time a tribute to the glorious island of Sardinia.

This book will have broad appeal among lovers of both romance and travel writing; bringing back many memories for those who have visited the island.

I particularly enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of Sardinia, it’s history, people, customs and culture, as we are taken on a virtual tour of the island. But the love story is also pacey and compelling.

The carefully crafted detail contained in the narrative, transports you directly to Sardinia as you read; you can almost feel the heat and smell the peach blossom. From the first paragraph of the book you are taken on holiday with Elise as she rediscovers herself through travel:

A gentle breeze fluttered through the peach grove, but gave no respite from the midday sun. The rows of peach and lemon trees offered no shade, and the branches of the tall cypress trees surrounding the orchard seemed to trap and intensify the relentless rays, creating an overwhelming heat that pervaded everything. Only the strident call of the cicadas broke the unnerving quiet that descended over the parched land.”

It is clear that the author has a deep love of Sardinia and has researched the book well.

The island is now well and truly on my list of places to visit thanks to this book.

Thank you to Lexa Dudley for providing a review copy of the book.

Get your own copy of The Whispering Wind: Two Lives, One Heartbreaking Story.

Amanda Williams
This is a wonderful book which hooked me almost immediately with it’s beautiful descriptive writing and well developed characters. It is at once a passionate love story and a tribute to the beautiful island of Sardinia, so will have broad appeal among lovers of both romance novels and travel writing. It is clear that the author has a deep love of Sardinia and has researched the book well. The island is now well and truly on my list of places to visit. A more detailed review will be published at